Is affiliate marketing worth it? The time investment, the blog posts, the social sharing, the promoting – the LONG road to getting paid? 

The short answer is heck yes it’s worth it!

But you’ve got to do it right. And by right I mean in a way that makes sense for you and your business.

If you blindly just start putting a link everywhere I can promise you it’s not only not effective, but you will just end up chasing your tail and coming across sleazy. 

In this article I’m going to show you how to properly promote an affiliate link so it gets the right traffic and comes across as a caring referral – which are the kind that get clicks. 

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Promoting someone else’s product or service isn’t rocket science – we literally do it everyday. 

Here’s a verbal example:

“Who were those painters you used?”

“They were XYZ Painters in Fredericksburg.”

And that’s all there is to affiliate marketing. 

The only difference here is there’s a link with your referral code in it. If someone clicks on it, and goes through with the sale, then you get a cut. 

It doesn’t cost the referred party anything additional, but you get a commission for helping the service or product provider get that sale. 

where to start with affiliate marketing - runner at a start lineHow to Start Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is very easy to do on the surface and even in practice, but there are DEFINITELY ways to make it way, way more effective.

What you don’t want to do is come across as someone just desperate to make a sale before they jump to the next person. Which happens… a lot. 

Is affiliate marketing worth it? Affiliate marketing is a great option – IF, and only if – you actually believe in what you’re selling. 

What does that mean?

Very simply, it means you’re recommending something that you actually like and would use yourself. Ideally something you already do use yourself.

There are a couple of very strong reasons for this:

People sense inauthenticity.

Let me say that again – we all know when people are being fake.

It’s a literal animal trait of ours to sense when something is off. This is the exact reason some people don’t like clowns. We’re programmed to know when something isn’t right. 

In the case of clowns it’s because their facial features are exaggerated. Or they hide in sewers with red balloons. 

If you’re only pushing an affiliate link it’s got a good payout on its affiliate program, you’re going to have a very hard time selling it. It HAS to be good for the end user, and YOU have to know and believe it will be a good fit for the end user, or it will not work. 

Is affiliate marketing worth it - salesman anaologyEver wonder why people don’t like car salesmen?

It’s because they are incentivized to put buyers into cars that make the dealership and themselves money, not to do what’s best for the buyer.

Buyers aren’t dumb. They know they’re being pushed, pressured, and even bullied into making a purchase. Don’t be that person. 

Consider the Reverse – What makes a good affiliate marketer?

What would happen if someone were to buy a car because

  • a knowledgeable person walked them through what their needs were,
  • directed them to the right vehicle for them, 
    • regardless of make, model, or commission
      (i.e. if they were hourly)

What would that look like?

  • It would result in a pleasant experience for the buyer
  • They would feel in control
  • They would be more open to upsells
  • They would be willing to refer people to you because of that experience
  • the buyer would be more than happy to make that purchase because they wouldn’t be on defense. 

It’s literally all about making the best move for your customer (and yes, YOUR customer, because your reputation is on the line here too guys). You need to set yourself as if you are personally selling these products. That personal investment will pass through to your customer. 

10 Ways to Promote for Free

Also don’t waste your time on things you don’t care about. 

Not only will you have a hard time selling it, you’re wasting space that you could be pushing something you DO care about – even if the program isn’t as good. 

A lot of bad products come with great affiliate commissions for a reason. 

You will make more money by selling more of a lower commissioned product, than a great one with a bad product.

It comes down to excitement (passion, drive, insert other adjective here…) – the bottom line is when you believe in a project, product, or service it comes through in your text and voice. 

  • Your text becomes easier to read, it flows well. 
  • Your voice becomes confident, and 
  • your cadence is well managed. 

It really does matter. 

You will convert more clicks JUST by being authentic.

Is affiliate marketing worth the timeThings to Know About Affiliate Marketing

It’s not exactly a steady stream of income. Just like the ebbs and flows of any industry, you’ll make more sales some months and less other months.

Affiliate marketing should be one stream of income for you, and not your only stream of income. Because it’s so volatile, don’t count on your income until it’s been deposited in your account.

Don’t use it as a source to pay your steady bills, but as “extra” income.

Now you may make enough to pay the steady bills, but everything can change overnight (in good ways or bad), so please, please, please don’t rely on it.

Your topic could suddenly take off (i.e. how to make sourdough starter bread when the pandemic started), or it could tank because a new technology came out and replaced it overnight.

Affiliates can change their terms whenever they feel like it.

Affiliates can stop their program whenever they want. 

Affiliates can go out of business or be bought out.

You have very little power in this affiliate relationship and you need to know that going in – there are ZERO guarantees. 

So choose who you do business with wisely.

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Checklist includes:

  • Technical Must Haves
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Where to put affiliate links?

This list is also great for a where to put your own product links example, if you have something of your own that you need to promote for free:

  • YouTube videos
  • YouTube Pinned Comment
  • YouTube Comments
  • Blog Posts
  • Guest Posts (make sure the owner knows you’re doing it)
  • Blog Comments
  • Ebook
  • Email signatures
  • Email blasts
  • Email Autoresponders
  • Email Welcome Sequences
  • Facebook Groups Posts
  • Facebook Group Entry Questions
  • Facebook Page Auto-Responding Messages
  • Your Website’s Resource Page
  • Social Media Posts
  • Social Media Profile Bios
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars

Affiliate Marketing Examples

Images/Captions: Place links under image captions and link the actual images themselves too.

using affiliate links in text

Example of using affiliate links in caption text.

Write a blog post about environmentally friendly hosting and link the words “environmentally friendly hosting” to your affiliate several times throughout the article.
(real affiliate link used here to GreenGeeks)

Put the affiliate links in your email signature

Here’s a copy of my own email signature. I chose to put links to items I’m promoting, but I could have just as easily included links to an affiliate. Just remember to state that it’s an affiliate link if you choose to use one.
affiliate marketing link examples in email signature

Is affiliate marketing worth it as a momprenuer?So is affiliate marketing worth it?

Still 100%, absolutely, yes.

It’s great because you can immediately start writing and promoting your way to a nice passive income.

You can write articles on your time, record videos on your time, and post links… on your time. It’s a phenomenal way to get income coming in.

Is it fast? No. Absolutely not. It’s a long game, but like anything that builds up over time, once it’s built, it’s built.

Is it reliable? Kind of.

Is it going to make you a millionaire? Not likely.

But a couple hundred bucks a month, that builds up to even more over time, that’s worth the work that goes into it for sure.

A couple hundred a month goes a long way to saving for a vacation, upgrading your house, or splurging on a shopping spree. (Notice I didn’t say paying your electric bill or car payment.)

It is phenomenal extra cash, and can accumulate into substantial income over time.

It is a long game, so be sure you treat it as such. Plug away at it over time and you will see one sale here or one sale there turn into several a month when you’re consistent with it.

Important Note Before You Go on Affiliate Income Taxes

You will need to report it to the IRS, and set aside your taxes as you go – because believe me the businesses that are paying you are reporting it.

And you’ll have to ask your tax person how much to set aside, but my rule of thumb is 30%.

Here’s the kicker with that though – it is literally different for everyone so you have to get customized advice from someone who knows your unique situation.

Different tax brackets, different write offs, different random laws all apply here. So don’t go off that 30% as gospel – because it could really bite you come tax time, but as a rough ball park it’s a good guide.

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